Fasting for Joy by Dave Meyer
These 21 days of fasting are not meant to be a burden but to help you in the beginning of the new year to seek the Lord. Recently, I heard Pastor John say, “Fasting without prayer is just starvation.” As you fast and pray these days, remember, you are renewing your strength!
Another verse that will help you in this time of fasting is Nehemiah 8:10 (NKJV) that says, “Then he said to them, ‘Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our LORD. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.’”
The story behind this verse is one of struggle and sorrow. Nehemiah had come back to Israel to rebuild the wall and Ezra had come to rebuild the temple. The task of rebuilding these structures was immense. Ezra especially face a tremendous amount of opposition. When you read the Bible in a version that is in chronological order you will find that God had to send prophets to stir the people to build.
When the tasks were completed and the temple dedicated, there were some old folks, however, who remembered the old temple that Solomon built. They began weeping and complaining (as some of us old folks have a tendency to do), and Ezra stands up and lets them know that this temple is of God’s design and tells them that today is to be a day of rejoicing and praising and worshiping, not weeping and complaining!
He says, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” The hard time is over and now is a time of celebration! The time of seeking God and fasting has ended and God has renewed our strength. And if the joy of the Lord is our strength then He has renewed our JOY!
There will be a time of celebration with rejoicing, praise, worship, and of course food at the end of our fasting. I personally am looking forward to hearing the testimonies of God working during and after our prayers. So remember that the joy of the Lord is your strength!